World Mental Health Day: From Joker to Split, 5 Hollywood films that throw light upon mental health

Today as we observe World Mental Health Day, let's acknowledge that mental health is as important as physical health. From Joker to Split, here are 5 Hollywood films that deal with the subject of mental health and its awareness.
World Mental Health Day: From Joker to Split, Hollywood films that throw light upon mental healthWorld Mental Health Day: From Joker to Split, Hollywood films that throw light upon mental health
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World Mental Health Day is observed on 10th October every year with an aim to raise awareness on mental health issues and illnesses affecting people worldwide.  Over 8,00,000 people commit suicide every year owing to poor mental health suffering from depression, anxiety, multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, etc. Films play an important role in shaping our thoughts and is an impactful means of spreading awareness. Here are a few films that throw light upon mental illness and its consequences.


A recent release, Joker features Joaquin Phoenix fighting his own secret battle of survival in a selfish world with a toxic society that throws serious challenges at his face in the form of unemployment, poor living conditions, bullying, a corrupt system ruled by the rich and famous. While the film does not glorify the murderous side of the character, it shows how the harshness of society leads to unbelievable outcomes and plays with one's mind.


Split spans the story of Kevin, who suffers from a dissociative identity disorder. He lives with 23 personalities within him and kidnaps three teenagers depicting his multiple alter egos one after another. Some day he is Barry, another day Dennis and some other day he turns into lady Patrica. He locks up the three girls showing them his different sides until he finally takes the form of the beast inside him, exhibiting his 24th and the deadliest personality.

Shutter Island

An American thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio as U.S. Marshal Edward, who investigates a psychiatric facility on Shutter Island after one of the patients is found missing. The patient is held back for drowning her three children and her sudden escape can pose a threat to the others around. As the investigation deepens, Teddy is bent on finding the runaway patient only to realise that he himself suffers from Delusional Disorder, creating a false world to escape the dark reality of his past.

Black Swan

The psychological thriller stars Natalie Portman as she portrays the result of a malformed and tortured mind. Nina suffers from constant pressure and competition as a professional ballerina dancer. She attempts to live in a delusional world where she forces herself to believe that she is fine, while the constant pressure makes her indulge in self-harm. In her hunger to achieve perfection, she scratches her back to resemble that of the swan she portrays on stage and starves herself and eventually stabs herself in the stomach as part of her performance.

What's Eating Gilbert Grape

The 1993 film shows depression and outcomes linked with it. Darlene Cates suffers from an eating disorder as her depression has reached to its peak. After experiencing the trauma of seeing her husband commit suicide, she spends her time binge eating and watching television to curb her restless mind. The film closes with a sad ending as we see her dead at the end of the film. The film shows how eating disorders remain a misunderstood subject in society and how it builds up tension and adds to the sufferer's misery every day.

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